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NASA Rolls Out SLS Rocket to Launch Pad Florida 10 Days Before Artemis I Launch

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#Space Launch System (SLS), #NASA’s largest rocket to date, was moved to a launch pad in Florida on Friday. In 10 days, NASA will attempt to launch the much-delayed unmanned mission Artemis I to the Moon.

The rocket was brought back to the Vehicle Assembly Building to be protected from Hurricane Ian after two launch attempts this summer were canceled due to technical issues. The US space agency took advantage of the free time to perform quick fixes and recharge the batteries that run the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s systems. According to NASA, the four-mile (six-kilometer) trip of the SLS rocket from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center took about nine hours.

The crawler-transporter, a sizable platform used to slowly roll out the 322-foot (98-meter) rocket, was built to reduce vibrations. The following launch attempt is planned for November 14 at 12:07 a.m. Eastern Time (09:37 a.m. IST), with backup dates on November 16 at 1:04 a.m. ET (10:34 a.m. IST) and November 19 at 1:45 a.m. ET (11:15 am IST).

At a briefing on Thursday, Jim Free, assistant administrator for NASA, said, “We’re comfortable launching at night.” According to Free, the information needed to monitor the rocket’s performance will be obtained using radar and infrared camera images. If the rocket blasts off on November 16, the mission would last a little more than 25 days with the crew capsule splashing down in the Pacific Ocean on December 9.

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